Women activists urge US congress to curtail ‘misuse’ of aid in Afghanistan

The Purple Saturdays Movement, a women’s rights advocacy group, issued a statement calling for accountability over the alleged “misuse” of humanitarian aid destined for Afghanistan by the Taliban.

The statement implored the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to address the purported diversion of a “$40 million” weekly aid package to Afghanistan.

According to the movement, the Taliban’s control over this aid has exacerbated the suffering of the Afghan populace, notably women, through increased oppression and the promotion of extremist ideologies.

“The Taliban, using $40 million in weekly humanitarian aid from the United States, have intensified the horrific oppression and promotion of terrorist ideologies, particularly targeting women,” the statement read. It claimed the group had established numerous jihadist schools to bolster suicide squads and expand their cross-border operations.

The activists argued that one of the reasons for the Taliban’s sustained control over the past three years has been the indirect support from the U.S. by providing weekly aid without sufficient oversight.

They further accused the Taliban of prioritizing the indoctrination of their members over addressing the hunger, suffering, and poverty affecting over 85% of Afghanistan’s population. The statement said the aid was being diverted to “bribes, bonuses, house rent, and vehicle purchases for their members.”

“The Taliban aim to bolster their ranks’ engagement in terrorism and suicide attacks internationally under the guise of combatting Israel and the Palestinian issue, thus securing their interests and prolonging their self-proclaimed governance,” the activists stated.

They also highlighted concerns over the Taliban’s intentions to dispatch fighters, including suicide bombers, to support international conflicts.

The movement has called on the U.S. to help limit the Taliban’s access to the humanitarian assistance intended for the Afghan people.